A historical account on the life of the Zulu king Shaka.
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Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1989   1986  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
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...
...
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 Elizabeth Farewell 10 episodes, 1986-1989
...
 Lord Bathurst 10 episodes, 1986-1989
Henry Cele ...
Dudu Mkhize ...
...
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 Prof. Bramston 10 episodes, 1986-1989
Kenneth Griffith ...
 Zacharias Abrahams 10 episodes, 1986-1989
Conrad Magwaza ...
Patrick Ndlovu ...
Roland Mqwebu ...
Gugu Nxumalo ...
Tu Nokwe ...
Vuyisile Bojana ...
Bingo Mbonjeni ...
Simon Sabela ...
Sam Williams ...
Alex Heyns ...
...
Geoff Albert ...
Sonke Buthelezi ...
...
 Lord Kimberley 5 episodes, 1986-1989
Khumbulani Cele ...
 Shaka (6-11) 5 episodes, 1986-1989
Dabula Ciliza ...
Bill Curry ...
Terence Dlamini ...
Thembinkosi Dlamini ...
Glen Gabela ...
 Shaka (15-19) 5 episodes, 1986-1989
King Beaters Gabelah ...
Winston Gama ...
P.W.M. Gardner ...
Keith Grenville ...
Zipathe Gumede ...
Daphney Hlomuka ...
 Queen Ntombazi 5 episodes, 1986-1989
Eugene Hlomuka ...
James Irwin ...
 Gen. Chelmsford 5 episodes, 1986-1989
Ian Jali ...
Kerry Jordan ...
 Rev. Bellow 5 episodes, 1986-1989
Benedict Khambula ...
 Witchdoctor 5 episodes, 1986-1989
Charles Kinsman ...
Sokesimbone Kubheka ...
Bruno Luthuli ...
Khulekani Magubane ...
Victor Majavu ...
 King Makedama 5 episodes, 1986-1989
Phillip Majola ...
 Ngwadi (9 yrs old) 5 episodes, 1986-1989
Humphrey Makhoba ...
Obed Makubane ...
Africa Manqele ...
Sonto Mazibuko ...
Grissel Mboni ...
Peter Mgaga ...
Eric Mcanyana ...
Dingeni Mhlongo ...
 Nomcoba (child) 5 episodes, 1986-1989
Precious Mkhize ...
Raymond Mkhize ...
Amos Mkhonza ...
 King Kondlo 5 episodes, 1986-1989
Louis Mtetwa ...
Sally Mthembu ...
Lucky Mtshali ...
Sabelo Ndebele ...
Daniel Ndlovu ...
Isabelle Ndlovu ...
Michael Nene ...
Shadrack Ngema ...
Elliot Ngubane ...
Peter Nkwanyana ...
Alfred D. Nokwe ...
Emily Nompumelelo ...
Adalbero Ntsele ...
Samuel Ntsini ...
 The Nameless One 5 episodes, 1986-1989
Horatius Ntuli ...
 Njanis Father 5 episodes, 1986-1989
Artwell Nyembe ...
 Ufasimba Leader 5 episodes, 1986-1989
Aletta Rabotapi ...
 Maidservant 5 episodes, 1986-1989
Michael Richard ...
 Mordechai Abrahams 5 episodes, 1986-1989
...
 Queen Victoria 5 episodes, 1986-1989
Hugh Rouse ...
Cynthia Shange ...
Sibusiso Shange ...
 Phakathwayo 5 episodes, 1986-1989
David Sherwood ...
 Captain Blair 5 episodes, 1986-1989
Yule Simone ...
Leonard Sithole ...
Washington Xisolo ...
Ron Smerczak ...
Sibongile Sokhulu ...
...
Oliver Stole ...
Sean Taylor ...
 The Prince Of Wales 5 episodes, 1986-1989
Reginald Tsokolibane ...
 The Lion Man 5 episodes, 1986-1989
Sean Weir ...
Robert Whitehead ...
Ganza Zama ...
Vincent Zulu ...
V.E.M. Zulu ...
 King Sodubo 5 episodes, 1986-1989
Patrick Zungu ...
Nomsa Xaba ...
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Storyline

Framed around Queen Victoria's decision on England's political stance towards the Zulu Nation, this mini-series details King Shaka's rise and fall with mythic detail. Prophecy is mixed with recorded fact regarding Shaka's birth, exile, innovations in warfare, assumption of the throne, building of the Zulu Empire, first contact with Europe and the events that lead to his downfall. Written by Renee Ann Byrd <byrdie@wyrdbyrd.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Savage Warrior of All Time!


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shaka Zulú  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This Crawford Production has been rescaned from a negative print and reframed for a 16:9 presentation and aired on the WIN Network Australia. Nov. 2017 See more »

Quotes

Dr. Henry Fynn: It would appear that Sommerset was right, wouldn't it? It all comes down to blowing their heads off.
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Connections

Referenced in Barbershop (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

We Are Growing
By Patric van Blerk, Julian Laxton, Margaret Singana and David Pollecutt (as Dave Pollecutt)
Sung by Margaret Singana and the Baragwanath Choir
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User Reviews

 
Zulu History carefully reconstructed!!
22 June 2007 | by See all my reviews

"Shaka Zulu" the ten part mini-series is an interesting mix of good film-making and bad film-making. Certain scenes are beautifully done and perfectly paced while others seem to be the work of a bored and untalented film student.

The late William C. Faure's talent as a director really starts to shine when the story is told from the Zulu point of view. For instance, the love scene between Nandi and Senzagakona at the river is beautifully played and executed. The scenes with the young Shaka are generally over played and poorly directed. All the scenes with the British are of a poor standard especially the pontificating and condescending opening scene with the Zulu King and Queen Victoria. The best British scenes are the ones involving Christopher Lee.

The acting is generally of a very high standard. Edward Fox is as good as always. He plays his part with dash and honesty rarely seen nowadays. Robert Powell is his usual studied and self-conscious self. The beautiful Dudu Kkhize portrays Nandi and for the most part she is very good.

The most remarkable performance has to be that of Henry Cele as Shaka. It is hard, if not impossible, to imagine anyone else in the part of Shaka. He is simply perfect in every aspect and is a surprisingly good actor. It is possible to empathize with Shaka, even understand him and this is because of the towering performance given by Henry Cele. He lets you inside the mind of this despot and translates his pain, confusion and arrogance. This has to be one of the best pieces of casting in cinema history. Conrad Magwaza gives a great performance as Shaka's father, Senzagakona. He plays the part with confidence, comedy and charm.

The production design and costumes for the Zulu sequences are first class. Also a remarkable amount of historically accurate material finds itself within the script and this has to be commended. The death of Shaka is open to interpretation but it is generally believed that a relative killed him either by stabbing him in the back or poisoning.

The contrasting styles of film-making that abound in this production are a shame. An inept scene usually follows an excellent one and visa versa. I am sure this was partly due to the tight scheduling and production constraints.

The musical score is dated and histrionic. A low quality keyboard orchestra pervades scenes that need no accompaniment and destroys certain well-crafted moments. The songs are pretty cheesy as well. With the wealth of extraordinary Zulu music that exists, it is a shame that the score could not have utilized its rhythms and instruments to a more satisfying degree.

Having so little African history on film, this mini series has to be classed as a classic. The whole experience is rewarding, exciting and surprisingly refreshing.


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